Michael Mørkøv won the Danish National Championships for the second time in his career, five years from his maiden title, which came also in a bunch sprint. The Quick Step Floors rider came out on top in Nysted, after a stellar effort by teammate Kasper Asgreen, who kept everything together on the final lap, before Mørkøv powered through in the closing 150 metres to beat Niklas Larsen (Virtu Cycling) and Michael Carbel (Fortuneo-Samsic).
“It feels fantastic to be able to contribute to the winning stream of Quick-Step Floors. We have won nearly 50 races this year already and I am really proud to bring another National title to the team and represent Denmark on the best cycling team in the world. I must say that I was hoping to be in the mix today but it still feels like a dream come true to don this beautiful jersey”, said the 33-year-old at the finish.
The race had been an action-packed one, with attacks and counterattacks, with a number of breakaways animating the race. Several riders tried to blow up the race on the tricky and technical final kilometres, only for neo-pro Kasper Asgreen to shut down all those moves, as the peloton approached the pointy end of the 217.5km-long race.
Unsurprisingly, the fight for position was hectic, but Mørkøv remained calm and bided his time, relying on his experience and instinct, before blasting to his first victory of the year.
“I had a good sensation all day,” explained Mørkøv. “In fact in the last week leading up to the Nationals I have felt really good so I knew I could do it but it is never easy at the Nationals, everything needs to come together in the right order, you can’t just count on good legs. In the end, I used my experience to find the right position and when Larsen opened the sprint in the last corner I could jump on his wheel and pass him before the line.”
Mørkøv credited teammate Kasper Asgreen with playing a big role in his triumph: “He was really important, especially in the last kilometres. We are working well together and stayed together the whole day. He sacrificed himself and his own chances for me in the closing part of the race, keeping the pace high and closing all the moves, which came in left and right, so a big thank you goes to Kasper for his amazing effort.”